Portrait of Liberal rabbi featured in exhibit at Southbank Centre

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Portrait of Liberal rabbi featured in exhibit at Southbank Centre

The portrait forms part of artist Matthew Krishanu’s study of female religious leaders in Birmingham

The portrait, and Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi
The portrait, and Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi

A portrait of Liberal Judaism’s Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi is being featured as part of the Everyday Heroes exhibition at the Southbank Centre.

The portrait of the rabbi, who serves Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (BPS), was painted by Matthew Krishanu whose father, Reverend Stephen Barton, was a friend of her shul until his death in 2016. The artist has remained in contact with the synagogue and Margaret.

Everyday Heroes is an outdoor exhibition celebrating the contributions that key workers and frontline staff have made during the pandemic. It contains artworks and poems by 21 of the leading names in British arts.

Margaret said: “Matthew asked me to send a photo of me at work, on which he could base his painting, and as most of my work was at home, I sent one of me at home with the Torah.”

The portrait of Margaret forms part of Matthew’s multi-part study of female religious leaders in Birmingham, described as a portrait of faith in adversity.

The exhibition also features doctors, nurses, shopkeepers, refuse collectors, public transport driers and all those who have kept the country going during the Covid-19 crisis.

Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff said: “By having all these individual portraits, we’re also creating a collective portrait of what this moment was like. These works will really be an important record of what we’ve all been through.”

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi potrait photo, by Peter Mallet
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